While the clients of Irving Lang's State Farm agency benefited from his insurance skills, others benefited from his decency and visionary skills.
"He did give a lot of himself in everything he did," said his wife of 52 years, Darlene.
At the age of 15 he lived with his aunt in Wisconsin. Her husband worked at Inland Steel. It was a rough area without indoor plumbing.
Irving Lang, 78, of Dyer, died March 23.
He joined the U.S. Navy at 17 and was honorably discharged at 19 after being injured on duty.
"But the Navy gave him enough structure in his life," his wife said.
They became acquainted as he attended Ball State University and she studied at Indiana University in Bloomington.
After working for Xerox, NIPSCO, Equitable Insurance and Prudential Insurance, he began a 31-year career with State Farm.
"It ended up being a wonderful, wonderful opportunity," Darlene Lang said.
He bought a small house in Highland at Hart Road and 45th Street -- but once again was faced with no indoor plumbing.
"He worked hard to get signatures from community members and successfully petitioned the Highland Town Board to have 45th Avenue expanded, had sewers and a culvert added and buried for drainage," said his daughter, Marcy Grim.
Darlene Lang said her husband gave to every person who came into his office looking for donations — a frequent occurrence.
She also recalled one Christmas when a woman called and told him that her husband had left her. His immediate response was to write a check for her.
This fit right in with his personal philosophy: "To whom much is given, much is expected."